The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is beginning to rev up in Las Vegas, and excitement is already brewing as Kodak has announced plans for a new Super 8 film camera to go along with their recent plans for an initiative to revive interest in the format. Celebrating its 50th birthday, Super 8 was the starting point for many young, aspiring filmmakers who have now grown to be in the elite class of mainstream and independent directors.
“For me, 8mm was the beginning of everything,” said Steven Spielberg in an official statement supporting the initiative. “When I think of 8mm, I think of the movies.” Kodak has also enlisted the help of other acclaimed directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams, Steve McQueen, Jeff Nichols and Alex Ross Perry.
As McQueen noted, “At the time, it was all about expense, meaning that I had to know what I wanted to shoot or at least edit in my head what I wanted to shoot before I shot it. It taught me how precious an image is and can be. It taught me how to refine my technique in editing and, ultimately, how beautiful film is. To this day I still shoot on Super 8.”
Further discussion on the subject lead to a celebration of what Tarantino describes as the magic that film can bring to a project. “When you’re filming something on film you aren’t recording movement, you’re taking a series of still pictures and when shown at 24 frames per second through a lightbulb, THAT creates the illusion of movement,” he said. “That illusion is connected to the magic of making movies. The fact that Kodak is giving a new generation of filmmakers the opportunity to shoot on Super 8 is truly an incredible gift.”
Kodak has put an early prototype for their new Super 8 camera on display at their CES booth, with the opportunity for people to shoot and project their own films. The camera combines the classic aesthetics of film with the accessibility of new digital technology.